MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. The prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a glaring example of the Western policy of double standards in the sphere of human rights, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated during Wednesday’s briefing.
"We are witnessing the developing events in relation to the WikiLeaks founder. This whole story is a glaring example of the double standards policy; when the states that love to preach to other countries about everything related to human rights suddenly start to forget all about them to serve their own interests," she said.
The diplomat stressed that Assange’s arrest is in violation of the freedom of media rights, as well as the basic human rights and liberties. "In recent years, at various international human rights forums, Russian representatives have brought the situation around Julian Assange to the attention of their colleagues, urging the corresponding states to comply with their international obligations in the sphere of human rights," she noted.
In 2006, Assange founded the WikiLeaks portal to publish classified information about the activities of a number of governments, including that of the United States. Fearing extradition to the US from Sweden, where two women accused him of sexual harassment and rape, he sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he spent almost seven years. In April, Ecuador refused him further asylum, the police promptly arrested Assange for failing to appear before London court on the 2012 order as well as on the extradition request issued by the US in 2017.
In late May, the US Department of Justice unsealed 17 charges against Assange. The charges "relate to disclosures of war crimes and human rights abuses by the US government", the WikiLeaks website informs. The US extradition request is currently under consideration.